Proposed amendments to the ESOS Act – what will they mean in practice?
The current system limits the capacity of international students in Australia to take up supplementary courses additional to their primary course. . Yet students wanting to work while they are here may also need to complete a short course to get into a job.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is proposing amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) so students can enrol in short courses without breaking ESOS rules.
TAFE Directors Australia’s (TDA) has made a submission to DESE’s consultations, confirming its support to the objective of the amendments and the benefits it would bring to international students and employers. However, TDA also highlights some potential unintended consequences and risks stemming from the proposed amendments as they are currently framed.
TDA is concerned that, unchecked, the new approach could be used to short-cut training for the primary qualification.
The broader risk is compromising the operation of international education for the VET sector, particularly for providers which dedicate their efforts to holistic and quality courses. While there is undeniable value in allowing international students to undertake supplementary study, it has to be done in a way that does not put the quality and integrity of the current system at risk.